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Panel discusses new data on intolerance in Russia

Nov. 19, 2005

KALAMAZOO--"After Atheism: Orthodoxy, Islam and Intolerance in Russian Society and Education" is the topic of a Kercher Symposium Series panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in room 204 of the Bernhardt Center at Western Michigan University.

Using a unique set of data from six national surveys, 1991 to 2005, four panelists will present findings from the ongoing international collaborative project on religious intolerance among Christians and Muslims in Russia. The data include nearly 3,000 interviews conducted in Russia this summer. Of these, more than 1,300 were conducted in the predominantly Muslim regions of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan. The project is funded by the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.

Panelists are Dr. Kimmo Kaariainen from the University of Helsinki, Drs. Vyacheslav Karpov and Elena Lisovskaya from WMU, and Dr. Jerry Pankhurst of Wittenberg University.

Kaariainen is a professor at the University of Helsinki and director of the Research Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. He has conducted survey research on religion in Russia for 15 years and published five books on post-Soviet religiosity. He is co-principal investigator of the religious intolerance project.

Karpov is an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University and principal investigator of the religious intolerance project. His research and publications have focused on religion, moral values and intolerance in Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States.

Lisovskaya is an associate professor of education and sociology at Western Michigan University and co-principal investigator of the religious intolerance project. Her research and publications focus on religion and ideologies in the context of educational change. She is a member of the Sorbonne-based research group Religions and Schools in Europe.

Pankhurst is a professor of sociology at Wittenberg University and a leading specialist on religion in post-communist societies. He authored and edited several books in sociology of religion, including "Eastern Orthodoxy in a Global Age," published this year.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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